American wildfowl art owes its foundation to Lem Ward. This wood carver and painter (1896-1984) overcame severe illness to produce some of the best-loved wildfowl art extant today. Lem and his brother Steve grew up along the marshes of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland and subsisted as barbers and foragers. They created carved and painted ducks to please their independent selves-as works of art, while carvers around them were making decoys just good enough for hunting. Here Lem's life story is told by his daughter Ida who was beside Lem for almost the entire span of his artistic career.
Glen Lawson, the author, grew up just a short walk from Lem and Steve Ward's barber shop and studio. Although he moved into the high technology fields of computer software and technical writing, he never lost his love of the marshes and its people. He often visited Lem on his trips home and mentioned once that he would like to write a book describing Lem's life and work-to which the artist enthusiastically replied "Would you really? I'd love for you to do it!"

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